Cookies on the ehospice website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the ehospice website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Palliative care and HIV: Prevention, care - or both?

Author: Shelley Enarson, African Palliative Care Association
01 December 2016

Significant reductions in HIV infection rates have been reported in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. But across Africa and globally, renewed emphasis is placed on prevention.

According to the U.S. President's Emergency Plan (PEPFAR) latest global results, the AIDS epidemic is becoming controlled in a number of key African countries, namely: Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

PEPFAR's recent population-based HIV Impact Assessments showed a validated decline in infection rates in adult HIV incidence of (51-76%) in these three African countries.

Even so, according to a report in Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, "progress on prevention has stagnated" -- an issue that Dr Emmanuel Luyirika, Executive Director of the African Palliative Care Association, emphasises as requiring attention from the palliative care community in Africa, and globally. 

For palliative care providers in Africa, Dr Luyirika highlights the two-pronged approach of care and prevention: 

"As we celebrate World AIDS Day, palliative care providers need to be aware of their role in care. But also the prevention responsibility that comes with HIV," Dr Luyirika noted. 

Globally, 18.2 million people are on antiretroviral treatment, however young women between 15-24 years are at a higher risk of becoming infected with HIV due to low rates of testing, and difficulty accessing and staying on treatment, according to a video statement by UNAIDS Executive Director, Michele Sidibe'. 

While prevention should be central to treatment, Mr Sidibe' noted in the video report, it should not be working against treatment.

The recent UNAIDS report Get on the Fast-Track: The Life Cycle Approach to HIV also warns of the risk of drug resistance and the need to reduce the costs of second- and third-line treatments. 

The statement also highlights the need for more synergies with tuberculosis (TB), human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, and hepatitis C programmes in order to reduce the major causes of illness and death among people living with HIV.

In 2015, 400 000 of the 1.1 million people who died from an AIDS-related illness died from TB, including 40 000 children, according to a UNAIDS press statement

"We cannot care for HIV patients without addressing the disease prevention needs of the family for HIV itself, TB and other opportunistic infections," Dr Luyirika said. 

Share article

Article tags

See more articles in Care

Comments | 0 comments

Hide
There are currently no comments. To be the first to make a comment...


Add comment

Denotes required field

Your Name

Email

Comment


Recommended Jobs

Recommended Events